J.P. Terlizzi: Hunter’s Calling
If we go back thousands of years, man as a hunter seems to be embedded in our ancient DNA. Photographer JP Terlizzi is a city dweller, but has created a narrative about the call of the hunt, allowing us a look into an activity that is charged with judgment from the outside, yet “mindful and satisfying, ritualistic and grittily romantic” from the inside.
JP Terlizzi (b. 1962) is a visual storyteller who uses photography to explore themes of memory, relationship, and identity. Drawing inspiration from his personal experiences, he captures moments that convey narratives — whether the story is a framed moment that reveals something about family and home, or a poetic interpretation of a fading reality, the feelings of loss and detachment are recurring motifs in his work.
Born and raised in the farmlands of Central New Jersey, JP currently works and lives in Manhattan. His career spans thirty years as a creative director for a boutique agency specializing in retail design. He earned a BFA in Communication Design at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and has studied photography at the International Center of Photography in New York. His work has been exhibited in the United States and abroad including shows at Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA; Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO; Umbrella Arts Gallery, New York, NY; A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, Texas; Grand Manan Gallery, New Brunswick, Canada, and Municipal Heritage Museum, Malaga, Spain, among others. He was recently named a 2015 Photolucida Critical Mass Finalist and his work has been featured in PDN, The Photo Review, and Abridged Magazine.
The hunt is most often defined by its final explosive moment. The flash, the blast, the crack as the bullet slices through the air. But in truth, it is the time before the trigger is pulled – hours that are mindful, silent and elongated – that is sacred to the hunter.
The kill is a culmination. The hunt is its rich prelude, mindful and satisfying, ritualistic and grittily romantic. The true reward lies in the communion between hunter and prey.
Through this work which was photographed in New Jersey, I delved into this primal relationship, and witnessed an interaction driven by instinct and cunning; hunter and prey engaged in an ancient contest of skill and survival, with raw landscape as a backdrop. I observed a group of young men united by the desire to connect with their surroundings, who understand and interpret the story of the woods. Their mission is not one of violence, but one of appreciation of a worthy adversary, a respect for tradition, and a reverence for the hunt.
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